Pets, Parasites, and People
For most people, dogs and cats are not just pets. They are treated like members of the family. Therefore, it is important to keep your special friend healthy and free of parasites.
Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be transmitted directly or indirectly from animals to humans. Some worms, for example, can be transmitted to humans through contact with contaminated soil or from direct contact of fecal matter from an infected animal. Vector-borne diseases are those transmitted by fleas and ticks, among other parasites, that can, in turn, infect people. In North America, ticks can transmit diseases including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountian Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Tularemia.
WHAT CAN YOU DO??
Responsible parasite control for your pets can reduce the risks associated with the transmission of parasitic diseases from pets to people. By following a few simple guidelines, pet owners can better protect all members of the family.
- Practice good personal hygiene. It is essential to teach young children the importance of washing hands regularly, especially after handling pets or cleaning up pet waste.
Use quality veterinary-approved flea and tick preventatives year-round per labeled instructions. Avoid over-the-counter products which are often ineffective and carry greater risks of adverse reactions that often require veterinary attention.
DO NOT feed pets raw meats.
Minimize your exposure, as well as your pets’ exposure to high-traffic pet areas such as a public park, dog parks or pet stores.
Clean up pet feces and remove from yards regularly!
Vistit your veterinarian for annual testing and routine physical examination.
Administer deworming medications as recommended and directed by your veterinarin. Refrain from purchasing over-the-counter deworming medications which may be less effective or inappropriate for your pet’s parasite control needs.
Ask your veterinarian about parasite infection risks and monthly preventative control measures to keep your pets and family better protected year-round.